So how can you tell there is a Federal Election brewing in Canada? The Opposition is making hay out of whatever they think will register with voters. Lately they have been focusing on the SNC Lavalin "Scandal", implying that the Prime Minister has engaged in criminal activity.
What is really going on is a fight over who, within the Cabinet gets to decide major issues, what major issues get discussed and what options are considered. Trudeau set out to create a diverse and representative Cabinet, promoting an unprecedented number of women and minorities into Cabinet positions. Now two of them, both women, have resigned from that Cabinet and been tossed out of caucus over how the case against SNC Lavalin was discussed and what options were considered for resolving that case. Allegations of inappropriate pressure on the now former Attorney General ignore the fact that no inappropriate action was taken. Allegations that the AG/MOJ was demoted for not complying with the "inappropriate pressure" ignore the fact that the Prime Minister has complete discretion to promote or demote any Cabinet Minister he wishes for any reason he sees fit.
Now Trudeau is being accused of everything from being a false feminist to a criminal. There is no basis for either.
One of the reasons Canada and other western nations have been slow to create the diversity that Trudeau sought in his government is that a diverse group of people have diverse views on things like what is and is not appropriate. I think that diversity is on balance a good thing, but if you want it to work all parties need to realize that all options can and should be confidentially discussed within Cabinet. Hopefully the conclusion will be something that all can live with but when it is not and a decision has to be made, it is the Prime Minister who must lead and take the heat for whatever action is taken. The buck stops with him. That gives him a certain degree of privilege when tough decisions are on the table. Government cannot operate if decisions are debated forever just because there is a diversity of opinion about what should be done. Opinions do matter but facts matter more.
Nothing illegal or inappropriate has actually happened in connection with this case. The opposition is using inflammatory rhetoric to burn a picture into voter's brains that they think will favor them at the ballot box. Fair game I suppose but I'd much rather hear what they propose to do about the many real challenges facing Canada. In fact wouldn't that be nice in any nation?
Here is my summary of the SNC affair for those who haven't been watching. If you wish to add more or alternative details, feel free. I'll listen, I promise.
SNC Lavalin is accused of bribing Libyan foreign officials to obtain contracts.
Quebec based SNC Lavalin is a huge, possibly even the largest, engineering frim in Canada and certainly the largest in Quebec and employs thousands of Canadians.
If SNC Lavalin is found guilty they will be barred from doing business with the Canadian Federal government for a long time (I think 10 years but I am not certain of that)
Some people think this will be disastrous for SNC Lavalin as it does a lot of business with the Federal Government. The mere fact that they are on trial has hurt their share price.
The Quebec Pension Plan is (was?) a big SNC Lavalin shareholder.
The fate of SNC Lavalin is a big deal to the Canadian and Quebec Economies.
Under Canadian Law, Federal Prosecutors have the option of offering a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) to SNC Lavalin that will cost them a substantial fine but avoid a guilty verdict and allow them to continue doing business with the Canadian Government.
The Prime Minister discussed offering SNC Lavalin a DPA with his Minister of Justice, a person who also holds the office of Attorney General. As Minister of Justice this is perfectly reasonable, in her role as AG it is questionable.
The AG did not offer a DPA to SNC Lavalin.
The Prime minister demoted the AG/MOJ to another portfolio.
The former AG/MOJ later resigned from her new Cabinet Position
The New AG/MOJ has not offered SNC Lavalin a DPA. SNC Lavalin is still on trial.
There is at the moment nothing to see here folks, Canadians should move on.